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ARM & x86 top 32/64bit MCU & eMPU markets in 2011

19 Oct 2012

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The leading architectures in the 32/64bit microcontrollers (MCUs) & embedded microprocessors (eMPUs) market in 2011 are ARM and x86. These findings are according to a 2012 study by Semicast. It was estimated that the 32/64bit MCU and eMPU markets have grown from $8.3billion in 2010 to $9.6billion in 2011.

The data, which is based on revenues for microcontrollers and embedded microprocessors, but excludes ASICs, ASSPs, SoCs and FPGAs, shows ARM with an estimated market share of almost 24 per cent in 2011, a slight gain on 2010, but a near doubling of market share since 2007. x86 is the only architecture to have also gained market share in the last four years. Colin Barnden, Principal Analyst at Semicast Research and study author, commented "Semicast's medium term view is that the architectural battle will continue to consolidate around ARM and x86, with the share of the market taken by other architectures forecast to steadily decline."

Semicast judges TI to have been the leading supplier of ARM-based MCUs/eMPUs in 2011, ahead of NXP and ST, with Freescale making rapid progress. Most of the leading microcontroller suppliers have now introduced a range of ARM-based products, although Renesas is the main exception and continues to primarily support the RX, SH and V850 families. Semicast judges the key end-use sectors for ARM-based MCUs/eMPUs to be automotive and industrial. x86 continued to make in-roads into the embedded market in 2011 and with high profile design wins in mobile phones and tablets already announced this year, its market share is set to increase further in 2012.

To sum up, Barnden said, "Freescale is judged to have been the largest supplier of 32/64bit MCUs/eMPUs in 2011, although with a lead of the slenderest of margins ahead of Intel, while Renesas is estimated to have been the third largest supplier."

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